"RIP Satoru Iwata" – Gamers Pay Tribute To Late Nintendo President

An icon of the digital gaming industry and the brains behind Wii, Nintendo's President Satoru Iwata died of cancer at the age of 55.

Satoru Iwata

The video game community just lost one of its most popular and well-loved personalities.

Japanese video game giant Nintendo announced the death of its president and CEO Satoru Iwata, 55.

“Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015, due to a bile duct growth,” the company stated.

Known for his involvement in iconic video games like Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda, Iwata is credited for the creation of Nintendo DS and the Wii gaming consoles. In addition to his executive role, he was a very well-known figure to Nintendo fans due to his appearances in the company's Nintendo Direct broadcasts and the “Iwata Asks” series of interviews.

The news of his demise left gamers and fans heartbroken, many of whom took to Twitter to pay tribute to the late president:

The flag at Nintendo headquarters flew at half-mast to honor Iwata.

Iwata started off as a programmer at a Nintendo subsidiary in the 1980s and took over as president from longtime boss Hiroshi Yamauchi in 2002. He steered the company to huge success with the new gaming consoles, which helped popularize the traditional video game to a wider demographic.

In a major strategy change, Nintendo recently announced that it would start making smartphone games to appeal to a younger fan base.

It’s unclear who’ll succeed him as company’s president, but one thing is for sure – Satoru Iwata will always be remembered for his great service to the gaming industry and his light-hearted personality that made him a popular figure in the digital world.

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